Your heart is racing. You’re sweating. Your hands are tingling. You’re struggling for breath. You feel dizzy and queasy. Your body is so out of control you feel certain you’re having a heart attack.
The number of visits to the emergency room because of a panic attack that feel like a major medical event is staggering. According to psychiatryonline.org there are approximately 1.3 million visits to the ER each year because of severe anxiety.
The good news is that Panic Disorder is treatable. Panic attacks can be reduced in frequency and severity with cognitive behavioral therapy (and sometimes an accompanying medication). One of the steps your cognitive behavioral therapist will take you through is a set of interoceptive exercises. I speak a little bit about this process here:
Helping teens grow and families improve connection,
Lauren Goodman, MS, MFT